Rays sign international free agent RHP Sandy Gaston to minor league contract

The Tampa Bay Rays have signed international free agent right-handed pitcher Sandy Gastón to a minor league contract.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays have finalized a minor league contract with 16-year-old Cuban pitcher Sandy Gaston that includes a $2.61 million signing bonus.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound right-hander ranked among the top international prospects eligible to sign with major league teams this year.

Gaston is from Matanzas, Cuba, and will turn 17 on Dec. 16.

“We believe Sandy is a high-caliber pitching prospect with potential elite major league fastball, quality secondary components and possesses the physical and mental characteristics to develop into an impactful major league pitcher,” Rays director of international scouting Carlos Rodriguez said. “His size, arm talent and age make him a very unique pitcher.”

Gaston was among three Cubans who worked out for scouts from major league teams in Miami last month. The Marlins agreed to a $5.25 million bonus with Victor Victor Mesa, 22, and a $1 million bonus with his 17-year-old brother, Victor Mesa Jr. Both are outfielders.